Understanding Earth (003GR)

15 credits, Level 4

Spring teaching

This module introduces the principles Earth science. It outlines the main geological processes and products associated with:

  • rocks and minerals
  • crustal deformation
  • geological time
  • continental evolution
  • geobiology
  • planets.

It also considers the application of Earth science to engineering and energy resources. Such understanding of the Earth is essential for considering the nature and management of materials and resources extracted from the Earth, and the impacts of geological processes on society.

‘Understanding Earth’ provides a conceptual framework and practical knowledge for studying geomorphology, environmental change, environmental research skills, resource management, permafrost and geohazards in years two and three.


43%: Lecture
54%: Practical (Fieldwork, Laboratory, Practical, Workshop)
2%: Seminar (Class)


75%: Coursework (Report, Test)
25%: Examination (Take away paper)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 46 hours of contact time and about 104 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2023/24. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to COVID-19, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: